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FTF stages madcap comedy

The Brewster sisters, Martha (Lisa Camerlo) and Abby (Bonnie Cahill) pick elderberries for their “special” wine in Freeport Theatre Festival's production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.” The madcap comedy, directed by Thomas Abbott, opens Friday.

ALLEGHENY TWP, Westmoreland County — Freeport Theatre Festival will turn up the laughter in its second offering this season with the madcap comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring, directed by FTF veteran Thomas Abbott.

“Arsenic and Old Lace” is about two maiden aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster (played by Bonnie Cahill and Lisa Camerlo, respectively) who have a curious charity: They poison lonely, elderly gentlemen with homemade elderberry wine spiked with arsenic, to put them out of their misery.

The period is 1941, and the Aunties live in Brooklyn with their nephew Teddy Brewster (Gerald Kovachs), who believes that he is Teddy Roosevelt.

Another nephew, Mortimer Brewster (Brett Brunory), a ruthless drama critic, often visits the Aunties and Teddy.

Add to that mix Elaine Harper (Amanda Fair), the minister's daughter who lives next door; another nephew Jonathan (Christopher Vertosick), who is a homicidal maniac and resembles Boris Karloff; and his sidekick, Dr. Herman Einstein (Dave Ross), who is a plastic surgeon specializing in remaking the faces of criminals on the lam. When the plot seems about to burst, in walk several New York police flatheads (Mike Firek, Rennick Steele, Erin McCormick and Mitch Posney).

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as Aug. 16 to 18 and 23 to 25 at the theater on the Steele Farm, 2498 White Cloud Road, two miles south of Freeport off Route 356 in Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County.

Tickets are $15, and are reduced for military members, senior citizens and students. Visit www.freeporttheatrefestival.org or call 724-295-1934.

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